Alpiri hopes to win name game

While this article may not interest all IA's, it should be of interest to people working with ecommerce sites. According to RedHerring, a company named, Alpiri is using XML based technologies to connect/resolve data by name attributes in disparate systems. The company is founded by R.V. Guha, who worked on RDF for Netscape and Rob McCool who also worked for Netscape and who developed CGI and much of Apache. In essence, "we network names," says Mr. Guha. That's useful because, while XML offers ways to label broad categories, like furniture or CDs, different companies don't label items (say, an Aeron chair or the latest Wiseguys' CD) the same way. To make its system work, Alpiri has built a knowledge base of the names of musicians, actors, authors, and various consumer goods. That's a huge challenge, and Mr. Guha admits it will never cover every item available. While Alpiri hopes that large commerce sites, like Amazon.com and Walmart.com, will adopt its technology, Mr. Guha is focusing first on search engines.